CLEVELAND - Imperial Avenue victim 44-year-old Kim Yvette Smith, of Cleveland, was last seen on Jan. 1, 2009.
Smith was not reported missing to Cleveland police until Nov. 2. Her body was identified Nov. 9, 2009. She was the only woman found at Anthony Sowell's house who did not have any children.
"That was my heart. That was daddy's girl," Donald Smith said during the trial. "She had gotten off crack and taken up alcohol, and that was her demise." His voice quivered as he spoke of his daughter during the sentencing phase. "He took my heart. He took my life. He might as well kill me too."
Donald Smith said his daughter was born on Jan/ 20, 1965 and that her mother's name is Virginia. Kim Smith, or "Candy" as she was affectionately called, sang backup for Cleveland native and R&B singer Gerald Levert.
During high school, Candy developed a drug problem, but while she was incarcerated, she received little drug treatment.
Donald Smith said he put out fliers with her picture on it and offered a $500 reward for information. He said he kept getting phone calls, but would ask the callers to recall the name of Candy's puppy to see if they really knew her.
"Every hour seemed like a day," Smith said.
At her funeral, she was remembered for her "cute and contagious smile," and for her love of music. But above of all, Smith was remembered for her love of shopping. It was one of the last things she did before her disappearance, which was a few days after her birthday.
"She would say to me for the last time, ' Thanks, Auntie Christine, I love you.' I will always remember that day," Smith's aunt Christine Shobey said. "Yes, Kim did have her human frailties. But she would meet many people and touch them in a positive way while here on earth."
"Her family was very supportive of her," Shobey said. "Sometimes they fall off the wagon."